State Board of Elections invites the public to comment through June 23 on 2 temporary rules proposed to implement the photo ID requirement for in-person and absentee-by-mail voters in NC, beginning with the 2023 municipal elections.

These rules are necessary to ensure uniform implementation of the photo ID requirement by all 100 county boards of elections and in all 3,000-plus polling locations. They are similar to rules adopted by the State Board and approved by the Rules Review Commission in prior iterations of the photo ID law.

The public comment period is open and runs through June 23.

Members of the public may comment on the rules in any of the following ways: 

OnlinePublic comment portal

Mail: Attn: Rulemaking Coordinator, PO Box 27255, Raleigh, NC 27611-7255

A virtual public hearing will be held at 11 a.m. on June 19, 2023.

How to join the public hearing:

  • Online:      WebEx
  • By Phone:    1-415-655-0003, Enter Code: 2435 046 5077#, then passcode 62723

Information and links to the two proposed rules are below: 

  • Rule 08 NCAC 17 .0101 (Verification of Photo Identification During In-Person Voting): This proposed rule describes how election officials must determine whether the photograph on the ID reasonably resembles the voter and whether the name is the same as or substantially equivalent to the voter’s name in their registration record. It also defines the process if an election official determines that the photograph or name on the ID do not satisfy the rule, as well as options that must be made available to the voter in this situation. 
  • Rule 08 NCAC 17 .0109 (Photo Identification for Absentee-By-Mail Ballots): This proposed rule provides details about the requirement for absentee-by-mail voters to provide a copy of an acceptable photo ID with their ballot return envelope, or to complete a photo ID exception form. It also describes the process county boards of elections must follow in reviewing copies of IDs or exception forms returned with absentee ballots.
  • The Board also proposes to repeal four previous photo ID rules adopted under a different law, which is now obsolete, to avoid any misunderstanding about what rules should be followed by election officials and the public.
  • Submitted comments will be compiled and provided to the State Board before its final consideration of the proposed temporary rules, which will likely take place at a public meeting on June 27. The Rules Review Commission would then consider the proposed rules.
  • For more information about the rulemaking process, please visit Rulemaking.
  • Background:
  • Voters will be asked to show photo ID when voting in North Carolina, starting with the municipal elections this fall.
  • Most voters will simply show their driver’s license. But there are many other acceptable photo IDs. 
  • If a voter does not have an acceptable photo ID, they can get one for free from the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV). Find more information under “No-Fee ID Cards” at State IDs | NCDMV. Soon, voters will also be able to get a free ID card from their county board of elections.
  • For more information on the photo ID requirement, see Voter ID.